Saturday, November 22, 2014

Curiosity Killed The Cat: The Kindle Daily Deal Selection Process

I've been asked several times, "How did you get selected for the Kindle Daily Deal?" So, I thought a blog post would be the most efficient way to share the answer.

The short answer is easy. "I don't know." I must have won a lottery of some sort. I do have some speculation, which I'll share later, but here's how it went down.

The Initial Notification

In September, I received a letter from Amazon asking me to agree to participate in a special they would run sometime before the end of the year. I had to agree to allow them to mark my book down up to 85%. They didn't say exactly what the promotion was, or when it would happen, or even if it would happen for sure. They also warned me that I couldn't place my book on sale a certain number of days before, or after. So naturally, without a date from them, that meant I couldn't put my book on sale at all. 

The Agonizing Wait

And naturally, being completely at the mercy of their massive promotional machinery, I said, "YES!!!!!!" Then I checked my email, and checked my email, check, check, check . . . You get the point. I was on verge of despair as it had been well over 90 days since my last Kindle Countdown Promotion and my numbers were dropping. Alright, it wasn't really despair, but I was less than pleased about the whole "submit and don't ask questions" thing.

And then, glory of glories, I got the response! It's really a blur at this point. I was, perhaps, in a bit of shock that it actually happened. I'm going to copy the dry content of their messages below for authors who are really interested.

So how did I get picked?

I didn't sign up and they didn't tell me why they picked me. But here are a few key factors that I suspect were involved.
  • For the previous two months, my rank had been floating between 2500 - 5000 on its own, without promotion. If I were Amazon, I wouldn't give this coveted spot out unless there was proof the book was well performing to start with. After all, why promote a book that won't sell?
  • My rating is 4.7 stars and most of my 153 reviews contain explicit requests for the next book. If I were Amazon I wouldn't want to promote a book that was getting bad reviews. So the better the rating the better the chance, I'd think.
  • My book cover looks fabulous! Thank you Ravven for the gorgeous art! And, my heroine is fully clothed. I am certainly no prude, but if I were Amazon I would want great book art on my site and I wouldn't want to send mass emails out with half-clothed people on the cover, out of respect for the variety of tastes of customers.
  • My price is $4.99. I don't think they list lower priced books in Kindle Daily Deal often. This makes sense to me because people wouldn't feel they were getting a great deal otherwise. Plus, they wouldn't make much profit.
I call this intelligent speculation, but it is just speculation.

What do you think?


(See dry emails below at your own risk.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The First Contact


I work with the Kindle Direct Publishing team and from time to time we reach out to our authors and publishers about participating in certain types of promotions.

We are considering including your books

The Light Who Shines (Bluebell Kildare Series Book 1) (B00HYH3ZU4)

in an upcoming promotion in some or all of the WW Amazon Kindle Book Stores. We would offer the books at a discount we determine off of your book’s list price for a period of up to approximately one month. Your list price won’t change, so that customers see your list price and the discount.

If your books are included, your royalty will be calculated based on our discounted price (not your list price), up to a discount of 85% off of your book’s list price. For example, if we sell your book at $1.99, where the 70% royalty option applies, your royalty will be calculated as 70% x ($1.99 – delivery costs and taxes). To be included in this promotion, your book must have a list price between $2.99 and $9.99.

The promotion will begin on a date we determine, which we anticipate to be at some point between October 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

Here are some other terms:

Not all books made available will be included, so we can’t guarantee yours will be, and we may discontinue the promotion at any time.

You must keep your book in the Kindle Store for at least 90 days after the promotion ends; you can’t un-publish it or terminate your participation in KDP during that period.

Due to system latencies, the exact start and end times of promotions are approximate and can take from a few minutes to several hours, but in some cases this period may be longer.

If you agree to participate, this email and the KDP Terms and Conditions will be the entire binding agreement between you and Amazon Digital Services, Inc. with regard to the promotion.

Except as provided in this email, the KDP Terms and Conditions apply to your book and this promotion.

If you represent a Publisher other than yourself, by agreeing to participate you also confirm that you are authorized to agree on behalf of the Publisher.

The list price you provide us with for titles submitted for this promotion must remain the same for the 30 days preceding the start of the promotion, during the promotion and for at least 7 days following the promotion. This means that titles included in Kindle Countdown Deals or Free Promotions in the 30 days preceding the start of the promotion will be ineligible for inclusion. Please also note that you will not be able to schedule a new Kindle Countdown Deal until at least 30 days after the end of the promotion. Any Kindle Countdown Deals scheduled during the promotion or during the 30 days following the end of the promotion will be cancelled and you may not be notified.

If you would like to participate in this promotion and agree to the terms above, please respond to this email stating: “I would like to participate and I agree to these terms.” 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Second Contact (You must really be a dedicated author if you are still reading!)


I’m reaching out to let you know that, barring any unforeseen changes, The Light Who Shines is scheduled to run as a Kindle Daily Deal on on 11/20.

It will be discounted to 1.99 for that day.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And now you know as much as I do! You have been "Illuminated!"

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Thanks To The Wonderful Book Community For Your Support

Did I make my goal of hitting #1 on Amazon?  Well, I'm not sure yet. Rank usually hits the lowest point (best rank) around 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. EST. Right now I'm sitting at a beautiful #48. Yes, I made it into the Top 100 Best Seller List! I have the following ranks to be proud of as well.

#01 Paranormal Romance > Psychic
#02 Paranormal Romance > Witches and Wizards
#02 Paranormal Romance > Devils and Demons
#02 Paranormal Romance > Vampires
#02 Paranormal Romance > Werewolves and Shifters
#02 Science Fiction/ Fantasy > Paranormal and Urban

There is what I like to call "The Evil Box Set" of 20 books on sale for only 99 cents that is conspiring to keep me out of the #01 slot of all of those categories.

I am definitely a winner because I had such wonderful outpouring of support. It was awe-inspiring to see so many friends and complete strangers saying, "I'll do everything I can!" And all of this on short notice!

(See my final update in the comments section.)

Now I want to do something for you.

I'll be posting a few blogs in the next week to cover some of the most commonly asked questions.
  • What is the Daily Deal selection process?
  • What did you do to prepare?
  • Lessons learned? (This is my own ask!)
Check in on my blog in a week or so to get answers to these questions.

If you do use Facebook and you supported me during the event, please go here on Friday/early Saturday. The "Help Me Get to Amazon #1" event will be transformed into a networking event where supporters will share information that will be helpful to each other. I'll have posts where you can drop your information and others can pick it up.

The rest of this post is aimed specifically at people who don't use Facebook but who supported me during this endeavor. It is my way of reaching out to non-Facebook users.

I'd like to collect the following information from you.
You can send it to my email at But I must receive it sometime on Friday/early Saturday for it to be useful. Saturday/Sunday will be an information sharing days.


Do you follow back or reciprocal retweet? (Reciprocal retweeting means you retweet people who retweet you on a consistent basis.) 

If 'yes', then:
  1. Please provide your Twitter profile link. This is not your Twitter handle. This is the url at the top of the page when you are sitting on your profile. 
  2. Please indicate if you follow back or reciprocal retweet or both.
Reciprocal Retweeter and Follows Back
What I'll Do With This Info
  • I'll assemble a list of all Reciprocal Retweeters and share it with all reciprocal retweeters.
  • Likewise with a list of those who follow back.

Blogs/Website Posts

Did you blog The Light Who Shines during this promotion or post about it on your web site? 

If 'yes', then,
  1. Please provide the following information.
    • your name:
    • blog/website name:
    • blog/website link:
    • direct link to post:
  2. Please select the role that best describes you: author / blogger / book lover (Please select only one.)
What I'll Do With This Info
  • I'll assemble a list of the website links for all bloggers and give them to all the authors and book lovers on Saturday.
  • I'll do a reciprocal link back from my site to all authors / bloggers / book lovers who created a blog post or a website post during this event. I'll do this as soon as possible.


Are you an Author who did a blog or website post for The Light Who Shines?
If 'yes', then,
  1. In addition to the details above, please send me the following information for one book of your choice.
    • book cover
    • book blurb
    • buy link
What I'll Do With This Info
  • I will share this with the book lovers in the event on Saturday
  • I'll post them to my site with your links as soon as possible.
Thank you all so much for your support.

Be sure to check for further updated on how low my rank goes!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Light Who Shines: Amazon Special Price - One Day Only $1.99

Amazon has awarded The Light Who Shines a super special Kindle Daily Deal. The price has been marked down to $1.99 for one day only. Be sure to grab a copy while you can!

The Light Who Shines

by Lilo Abernathy 
4.7 ★ 
$4.99  $1.99  - One day only!
Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Mystery (Solid Blend)

Amazon Link:

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it's obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run; and she vows to catch the killer. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn't enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it's Blue’s growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her sexy Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.

Character Profiles

Bluebell Kildare: Blue is a Supernatural Homicide Detective and a gifted empath who has a pure spirit and a will of steel. She was orphaned at a young age and has had a tough life so far. Yet, she continually picks herself up by the boot straps and fights to do what is right, regardless of the cost. Just how high will the cost be?

Jack Tanner: He's Blue's sexy boss, the head of the Supernatural Homicide Unit in Crimson Hollow. Jack is very old and powerful Daylight Vampire with many layers. He is driven a little crazy by his desire to protect Blue in the face of her independence. Can he keep his cool when Blue needs him most?

Varg: He is a great grey wolf who comes out of nowhere and decides to be Blue's companion. He seems to have some mysterious magical abilities and uses them to guard Blue's life. Can he keep her safe?

Maud: She is Blue's dear friend and mother figure. Maud used to visit Blue in the orphanage and read to her as a child. She can't cook but she makes awesome Southern beverages. What color is her hair today? Is it blue, fuchsia, scarlet, or peach sherbet?

Alexis: She is Blue's comrade and neighbor, as well as the sassy owner of a store called Herbal Enchantments. She is gifted in earth magic and if she isn't busy feeding her friends, she's telling them what to do. Does she have her hands on her hips right now, or is she waving her finger at Blue?

The Villain: Can he get any more evil? No. He is about as evil as they come . . .

One of My Favorite Amazon Reviews

Brilliant story
By jazz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can't praise this book highly enough.It was absolutely riveting. I have read thousands of books in my life and this one is one of the best.The only negative comment I can make is that I now have to wait for the next one in what I hope will be a very long series.I wish I could gobble up the whole story immediately.If you like urban fantasy (or even if you don't usually) this is a must read. Blue is up there with Mercy, Kate, and Harry. D. as a wonderful character already along with the rest of the cast in this delightful book.If you are looking for the next big thing in urban fantasy you have just found it. 
Review Link

Author Bio

Lilo Abernathy is a somewhat eccentric, deep-thinking, warm-hearted young woman of at least 43 years. She started out as a restaurant chain hostess and worked her way up to the exciting world of global mergers and acquisitions. She has enjoyed an on again/off again relationship with formal education and has been affectionately referred to as information hound. In the evenings, she fills her writing breaks by scanning the internet for answers to provocative questions, such as: "What causes diamonds to be formed in different colors?"

One thing that never changes is Lilo's ongoing love affair with books. A born bibliophile, by age ten she finished all the children's books in the house and started devouring the adult section. By age 15, she was working her way through grocery store book aisles and libraries. Just as Picasso had his blue period, Lilo had her own periods of readership--urban fantasy, paranormal romance, Gothic novels, etc. Now she's planning on creating a bookshelf for you to enjoy.

Social Networks

Facebook Page:

Site and Blog


Thank you!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You're Invited to an Event to Help The Light Who Shines Get to Amazon #1

Authors, book lovers, and book promoters, you are invited to join others of your ilk, in a Facebook event to help The Light Who Shines get to Amazon #1.

Amazon has given me an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by granting The Light Who Shines a Kindle Daily Deal on Thursday, November 20th. I'm using this fantastic opportunity to try to make it all the way to Amazon #1. And I'd love to have you join in on the fun.
Yes, it is a stretch goal, but I already have about 100 authors/bloggers who have thrown in their post/blog support. Plus, I have about 150 retweeters so far who are raring to go for the Daily Deal. On top of the Kindle Daily Deal, this is doable, and I just might make it! 
Already this event has had a huge response and is filled with authors, book bloggers, and other book loving supporters. After the event, as a thank you to supporters, I'm turning the event into a networking party. I hope you will join the fun.
  • Authors will get a chance to promote a book of their choice, copy book blogger details, and woo my fantastic fans. These are the kind of reader fans you want, because they are also huge supporters.
  • Book Bloggers will get a chance to share their details to gain new audiences and network with other book bloggers.
  • Readers / Book Lovers will get a chance to see the Author's book and be wooed by them. Plus they will find great new book blogs to follow.
Facebook Event Link

The Light Who Shines  $1.99 Thursday, November 20th Only!

I hope to see you there!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

HUGE NEWS! Amazon selects The Light Who Shines for a Kindle Daily Deal!

In September Amazon emailed me and asked my agreement to do a potential special Kindle promotion any time before the end of the year. The caveat: I couldn't reduce my price until they did. So, no promotions for The Light Who Shines for a while.

Naturally, I've been checking my email three times a day, waiting for their confirmation. Checking, checking, checking . . .

And it came!

They said that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, The Light Who Shines is going to be on a Kindle Daily Deal on Thursday, November 20th, 2014. It will be marked down to $1.99 for one day only.

Another author friend of mine was offered a one day Kindle Daily Deal and he sold like 3000 copies in one day!


I read up on this and sometimes a book can get to the Amazon #1 spot with 3500 buys in 1 day. So, I'm going to take advantage of this situation and see how high I can get in rank. Wouldn't it be awesome if The Light Who Shines made it to the #1 spot on Amazon, even if for one day only? I thought about this, and I'm committed to try.

If you want to help me try to get to #1, please mark your calendar and help me promote it on November 20th. I'll do a separate post that day you can share if you like. Some of my author friends and fans have already volunteered to do this and that is what gave me the idea. But any additional help is really appreciated.

Any way you want to share the news will help: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, GooglePlus, telling your work comrades about it . . . I've already signed up for every advertising option I can find that will take me on such short notice.

This is a huge stretch goal, but I'm going to work every free minute between now and Thursday to try to make this happen.

Now, for a little additional news. I've done a small make-over of the cover. The art is the same, but I've revamped the typography a bit and I think it makes it look that much sharper. What do you think?

And finally, I think that it is safe to say that The Light Who Binds, Book Two, will move into the revision phase by December 1, 2014.


Amazon Link:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ghoulishly Good Giveaway: Announcing Winners!

I know everyone wanted the awesome lollipops, but in the end, there could be only one. So, without further ado, I'll announce the winners!

Prize 1

Goes to: Stephanie Brumber
Located in: United States


Prize 2

Goes to: Arriane Alter
Located in: Argentina

Congrats Arriane and Stephanie! I hope your prizes bring you hours of enjoyment.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to buy myself some of those lollipops. I've included the links to the prizes incase any of you are feeling so bereft you must indulge yourself (wink). Wouldn't it be great to suck on an eyeball lollipop while reading The Light Who Shines? You know it would.

I hope you took the chance to check out some of the great books that were included. There are a lot of talented authors out there waiting for you to discover them.

Thank you all so much for participating. Be sure to follow my blog. There will be plenty more giveaways to come!